Forgotten Values and their Impact…

This is another case I would like to share with all of you, hopefully it will be of some help…

Let us start with the definition of personal values first, and then move to the case which happened in one of the companies I worked with.

As per the definition in Wikipedia. Personal Values are an integral part of every culture. With worldview and personality, they generate behavior. Being part of a culture that shares a common core set of values creates expectations and predictability without which a culture would disintegrate and its members would lose their personal identity and sense of worth. Values tell people what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive, etc. They answer the question of why people do what they do. Values help people solve common human problems for survival. Over time, they become the roots of tradition that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives.

These are the values we carry wherever we go, be it workplace or any other place. These set of values become a part of an Organization’s culture.

We were a close knit group…the office in India consisted of just 31 of us and we all used to work as a family. Some of the group members had been working with each other since the last 6-10 years, I was comparatively new but had been given a warm welcome by all of them barring a few.

As the company was introducing new concepts and products in India, lot of training programs were being organized by the Parent company at their Head Quarters, which was offshore.

HR, IT, Sales and Marketing training were being organized for all of us at various stages and time.

Once our IT guy, Pratik, had to go to attend one such training program outside India, he was the youngest of all of us and was a little childish too. He got married a few months back in a very instant kind of wedding which means that he met his wife a day before his marriage and they got along so well that they decided get married the next day.

So, he went for this program and everything was going well till one day I got a call from my boss- the HR Director who was a foreigner and used to work from the Head Quarters. He told me that, Pratik, was coming back to India without completing his training and what he told me next was very very shocking.

Pratik, was caught with a girl in a compromising situation in a red light area in that Country, and the place got raided by the Police. The girl also told the police that she was just a victim and had no clue where Pratik was taking her, which was surely a made up story as Pratik, had gone to this country for the first time.

But he was put behind bars and the senior management of our company got involved with my HR Director also. They all were called by the police to verify Pratik’s statement. The HR director knew, Pratik, very well since all of them had been working together since many years and he even knew that he had got married a few months back only and that his wife was expecting their first child as well.

They somehow helped him get bail and arranged the bail money which was paid by the company itself as Pratik’s salary was not that much and he was not carrying that much cash.

As per, Pratik, he met the girl in a bar and the girl asked her to accompany her to a place and he agreed to go. Reaching there some people (girl’s allies) came in and they started asking for money from, Pratik, and started blackmailing. And so he got caught with his pants down.

The HR director also told me that, Pratik, was also filmed by the allies of that girl who were hiding when things were happening between the two.

Finally he was sent back to India, and was given a strict written warning. This is because the HR Director was a very nice person, and as he knew all about his family he did not ask him to leave. Another reason to keep him in the company was that he had to pay the entire amount of bail in installments.

I was so disturbed with this guy’s behavior that I did not speak to him for many days, not even professionally. And being a female the feelings were a little strong.

And I am sure if he would have been in some other company, with a different culture and different people he would have been sacked immediately.

Now my question to you all…

  • What would you have done in this case?
  • Do you think that our values are so weak that the moment we are out of sight we can get involved in such activities, without thinking anything about the wife, the peer group, the subordinates and seniors?
  • What if the culture of the company was not that family oriented?

Will wait for your views and opinions…

  • Derek_dgomes

    Since the HR Director knew Pratik very well he knew that to some extend pratik is framed in the case and since it’s his first visit to the country it’s not possible that he has reached the red light area all by himself. It happens to most people when you are in a knew place to enjoy more & if freedome is not given to you when you are in your teenage this happens you just can’t say that pratik value system or upbringing is not good… if it was another organization pratik would have been sacked immediately from his job.

  • Apropos “Forgotten values and Impact”, we should be going deeper in to the psyche of humans. Why the greed and fear factors are becoming more and more powerful. Forgetting values and such other deprivations are symptoms.

  • Ajeet Kumar

    Very nice article. Really, we should not forget our values whereever we are. We learn the values from our family,society which keep us diciplined throughout the life. Life without good values is worthless.

    Really, its a inspirable story.


  • Saroj

    This is perhaps a very challenging article, in the senses that it indicates the way the family values and ethics have been deterioriated . It leads to complecated life pattern and raise the suspicion and infact detrimental to the society values and increse in crime.

  • Psrivastava40

    I strongly feel that this incident has lot do with the personal moral values rather than companys culture. Ofcourse the company’s culture does influence the individual’s conduct in the form of DOs and DONTs. These are the individualistic characteristic; even within a family you would find two members of the family reacting differently to the similar situation.

    On the other hand if company culture is morally upright and if the person has stayed in the company long enough then it gets embedded in one’s mind—then surely it can influence one’s character but still basic moral values are something with which a person grows and remains the same however, its outlook may change with the time.

  • Sujit

    Dear Archana,
    What has been described is a character issue and herein lies the challenge in recruitment & appraisal systems. I have been in the Army for 27 yrs( as colonel), did a few yrs in the corporate world and have set-up our HR & Educational services company. What we have observed is serious gaps in appraisal evaluations in our quest for bottom-line/EBITDA and growth at all costs.
    What is desirable for organizations, to perform well in the long-term are( do study NUCOR steels case-study)
    1 A rigorous recruitment benchmark( EQ, LQ tests are mandatory)
    2 The armed forces have 21 parameters in the annual appraisal, which mostly focus/evaluate on character qualities. The appraisal , though not 100% fool-proof is far superior than the one’s in-use in HR depts( 360,720,skip-levels,etc,etc). Since, employees exhibit those behaviour, which gets rewarded( remember “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE??”case), such behaviour if not penalised publicly, will get repeated.
    We all read Phaneesh Murthy’s case. Reputation, respect and honor are terms unknown to most employees today in their desire for “Growth Opportunities”—- a euphemism for Higher CTC, whatever it takes.
    Pratik needs to be sacked right away, whatever it takes and case highlighted on the Intranet. If we have the courage paste the case in the HR tab on the website too.
    However, most organizations lack courage/conviction to stand-by their values( they call it competition defection, key performer, great guy he was, lets show empathy,etc, etc). The edifice of one of the largest pvt co in India is built on cheating/political patronage/unethical behaviour

  • SSNayak

    Dear Archana,
    The events you describe typically indicate of a person who tends to jump to decisions without doing any homework. They are driven purely their basic drives (Id of Freud) and do not think of the consequences on both professional and personal life. But to be judgmental may be a bit unfair as the individual really doesn’t know know why and how this has happened. Detecting such factors and helping these persons can save the blushed for all concerned

  • Amrit yadav

    according to our value drinking and going bar is wrong specially when we are in other country we should not be emotional that somebody told us to drop somewhere we should not drop because we are unaware about there values they can anything for the money and indian are intelactual so we should so our quality there.

  • G de Lange

    A man is watching. Two dogs are fighting. A black and a white one. Same size.
    A friend approaches: “Do they often fight like this?”
    “Yes,” the man replies.
    “Who normally wins?” the friend asks.
    “The white one.” comes the answer.
    “Why so?”
    “I feed it most.”

    Feed yourself regularly (i.e. daily!) with good values.
    You’ll be the winner. Evertytime.
    It’s your decision.

  • Sameeer_pm

    Its an interesting story…i have witnessed many such cases in my career, i guess this is now becoming a common incident in the new corporate culture, where the key value of a member is weighed on the basis “SUCCESS”, We are living in an era where a human being’s personality is defined/assessed on the basis of material gains. There is no gender differentiation, when it comes to misusing opportunities..if Patrik sort pleasure in a strange female while on training trip, there are females who escort their bosses on business trips and transform the trip to personal pleasure trips. We also see minor act of fidelity/sexual acts/flirting in our corporate culture…they have become so common that people use them as a stepping stone to success….Now the question is, few years back all these were considered as “Social Taboos” (as modernist say -or how the west taught us to call them), but we did not realise that these were our greatest “Values” that we compromised saying social taboos…..

    Today there are 1000’s of research and development centers working around this topic to help the corporates have better values……but there was a time ..when we used to get this free from our parents, teachers and peer group…..So i guess the best way to address this issue is to go back to the schooling/Education system and ensure that we educate the new generation in the right sense rather than just teaching them modern corporate world survival techniques and success Mantras.